Rebuild of MetraPark Arena Expected to Cost $15 Million

Aerial view of the tornado-damaged RImrock Auto Arena at MetraPark in Billings, MT (courtesy photo)
Aerial view of the tornado-damaged RImrock Auto Arena at MetraPark in Billings, MT (courtesy photo)

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) - Architects estimate it will cost about $15 million to rebuild Billings' tornado-damaged Rimrock Auto Arena at MetraPark with improved sound, more bathrooms and more welcoming entrances.

Representatives of CTA Architects and the national design firm Populous met with Yellowstone County officials Wednesday to present preliminary drawings and plans for the venue, the state's largest indoor arena.

The Billings Gazette says the county's insurance carrier hasn't offered any figures yet, but CTA estimates that insurance will cover about $8 million of the work. The county is expected to pay the rest. Commissioners say the county's share is still about $2.5 million too high, and they will try to reduce the cost of the project.

The tornado, with winds up to 120 mph, touched down on top of the arena June 20th. The first large tornado to hit Billings in more than a half-century, it tore off the arena's roof, damaged hundreds of homes and businesses and scattered debris across the city.

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